Address from the Inaugural Conference of the 100,000 Strong Foundation[1] — “Investing in U.S.-China Relations, One Student at a Time”

Madame LIU Yandong

21 November 2013


Thank you Secretary Kerry, Foundation President Carola McGiffert,

Ladies, gentlemen, and friends good morning!

I am very pleased to attend the inaugural conference of the 100,000 Strong Foundation among friends here today! Since President Obama first announced the 100,000 Strong Initiative in 2009, approximately 68,000 Americans have gone to study abroad in China. The initiative has borne fruit for China-US people-to-people exchange. The establishment of the 100,000 Strong Foundation has provided not only a new pathway but also fresh drive for implementing the initiative and deepening people-to-people exchanges. I would like to express my admiration for the visionary and creative people driving this initiative. I sincerely appreciate all the contributions made toward strengthening China-US people-to-people exchange.

Today on China’s college campuses, one can meet an increasing number of young Americans studying under the initiative, whose progress amazes us. Together with their Chinese counterparts, they form a new force dedicated to developing a closer friendship between our two peoples. I see in them the limitless vigor of youth and infinite charm.

This visit is in part to implement the important agreement reached between our two presidents and facilitate the first China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) since the leadership changes in both governments. The central theme is “Youth and Innovation.” We already announced the China-US Young Politicians Program that will be launched in 2014. We will also further promote the China-US Student Ambassadors Program and will initiate the China-US Young Entrepreneurs Social Creativity Program. We believe all of these programs will broaden the channels for China-US communication.

Ladies and gentlemen, the seeds of friendship are most likely to take root in our young peoples’ minds. New vigor and vitality will continue to permeate China-US relations, as more and more young people get involved in China-US people-to-people exchange. We should move forward with a holistic understanding of China-US relations, and flow with the tide of our time. We should promote bilateral understanding in our youth, with mutual respect and trust in order to establish a new model of great power relations between China and the US, forging together a better future.

First, we must look to the future. We must embed youth exchange more deeply into China-US relations through broadening channels of communication and building new forms and levels of exchange.

Second, we must strengthen our leadership. We must encourage more young students to study abroad in the one another’s nations. The Chinese government not only encourages our young people to study abroad, we also welcome young Americans to study in China.

Third, we must pool our collective strength. We must empower more people to support and participate in China-US people-to-people exchange.

The China-US friendship is rooted in our people and our hopes and aspirations embodied by our young people. I noticed that the title of the conference today is “Investing in US-China Relations, One Student at a Time.” Indeed, investing in our youth is investing in the future. I call upon all those who value China-US relations, all those who care about our young people, from all walks of life, to work together so that the Sino-American partnership may rest in good hands, so that the torch may pass securely from one generation to the next. History will prove that our efforts here today for youth exchange between our two countries will, without a doubt, become the most valuable resource for the future of China-US relations.

Thank you.





















友谊的种子最容易在青年的心灵里生根发芽。正是越来越多的青年融入人文交流的大潮,才使中美友谊焕发出旺盛的生机活力。我们应当从中美关系大局出发,顺应时代潮流,促进两国青年相识相知、互尊互信,携手共创中美新型大国关系的美好未来。一要着眼未来,把青年交流摆在更突出的位置,拓展更加宽广的渠道,搭建多形式、多层次的交流平台。 二要加强引领,鼓励更多青年到对方国家学习交流。,”中国政府鼓励青年出国留学交流,我们也欢迎更多美国青年来华留学交流。三要汇聚力量,让更多有识之士支持参与中美人文交流。






[1] Unofficial translation, courtesy of Dr. WU Xiangning (吴湘宁) of Peking University. Original text accessible at: